WD-40 Company

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WD-40 Company
S&P 600 Component
ISINUS9292361071 Edit this on Wikidata
FoundedSeptember 23, 1953; 66 years ago (1953-09-23)
(as Rocket Chemical Company)
Key people
Garry Ridge (CEO)
ProductsWD-40, 3-In-One Oil, Lava, Spot Shot, X-14, Carpet Fresh, and 2000 Flushes
RevenueDecrease US$380.5 million (2017)[1]
Increase US$75.9 million (2017)[1]
Increase US$52.9 million (2017)[1]
Total assetsIncrease US$369.7 million (2017)[1]
Total equityDecrease US$139.3 million (2017)[1]

The WD-40 Company is a San Diego, California-based manufacturer of household and multi-use products, including its signature brand, WD-40, as well as 3-In-One Oil, Lava, Spot Shot, X-14, Carpet Fresh, GT85, 1001, Solvol, 2000 Flushes and No Vac.[2] As of April 2018, the company marketed its products in more than 176 countries.[1]


Rocket Chemical Company was founded in 1953 by Cyril E. Irving, Norman Roulette and his son Robert Roulette, and Iver Norman Lawson.[3] Reginald S. Fleet is also claimed to be a founding member by his alma mater, Georgia Institute of Technology.[4] The company had offices in Chula Vista and National City before moving to Kearny Villa Road in Kearny Mesa in 1955.[3] Sam Crivello, who owned a tuna seiner, a major industry in San Diego at that time, was an early investor[3] and became a director in 1958.[5] Norman B. Larsen was president of Rocket in 1957 and 1958, and he had the idea of packaging WD-40 in aerosol cans and selling it into the consumer market.[3] Larsen left the company in 1958 after a verbal agreement between Rocket and a distributor fell apart; the distributor set up CRC Industries to directly compete with Rocket and Larsen left to lead it.[6] Cy Irving took over as president in 1958 and retired in 1969.[3]

In 1969, John S. Barry, on becoming President and CEO, changed the name to WD-40 Company after what was then its only product. Barry, who died July 3, 2009, reportedly made the name change on the basis that the Rocket Chemical Company did not make rockets.[7][8] The company went public in 1973.[3] Its NASDAQ stock symbol is (NASDAQWDFC).

Gerald C. Schleif became president in 1990 and CEO in 1992; he had joined the company in 1969.[9] Schlief led the company until he retired in 1997, after which Garry O. Ridge took over.[3] By the fiscal year 2017, gross revenue for the company, including sales of the familiar WD-40 Multi-Use as well as other products, totaled $381 million in annual revenue; about half of this was for sales outside the US. CEO Ridge told a NASDAQ publication that they manufacture the "secret formula" in four plants located in various countries and ship it to other companies which then blend and package the product before shipping it to customers.[10]


WD-40 stands for ″Water Displacement, 40th formula". In addition to its flagship WD-40 product, the WD-40 Company has acquired several household-products companies, adding such brand names as 3-In-One Oil, Lava, Spot Shot, X-14, Carpet Fresh, and 2000 Flushes to its roster.


  1. ^ a b c d e f "WD-40 Company, Form 10-K, Annual Report, Filing Date Oct 23, 2017". secdatabase.com. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  2. ^ "WD-40 Company, Form 10-Q, Quarterly Report, Filing Date Apr 6, 2018". secdatabase.com. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Engstrand, Iris H.W. (Fall 2014). "WD-40: San Diego's Marketing Miracle" (PDF). The Journal of San Diego History. 60 (4): 253–270.
  4. ^ "President's Scholarship Endowments | stampsps.gatech.edu | Georgia Institute of Technology | Atlanta, GA". stampsps.gatech.edu (in Afrikaans). Retrieved 2018-02-25.
  5. ^ "WD-40 Co." San Diego Business Journal 25 Jan. 1988: 21.
  6. ^ "The CRC Story" (PDF). CRC Industries. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 May 2006. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  7. ^ Martin, Douglas. "John S. Barry, Main Force Behind WD-40, Dies at 84". The New York Times, July 22, 2009.
  8. ^ John Barry dies at 84; former executive made WD-40 a household name LA Times Obituary
  9. ^ "WD 40 10-K For the Fiscal Year Ended August 31, 1995". WD-40 Company via SEC Edgar. 13 November 1995.
  10. ^ [https://business.nasdaq.com/marketinsite/2018/CCG/WD-40-CEO-Why-Principles-of-Tribalism-Matter-to-Company-Culture.html NASDAQ Marketinsite January 18, 2018

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